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ESO Steps into Augmented Reality Territory with New ALMA App for Tablets and Smartphones

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Posted April 17, 2014

Thanks to a new app developed in partnership with the Polish company Bridge, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) will appear in 3D before your eyes by using your tablet or smartphone along with a print-out of a PDF file, called a tracker.

The app can be just for fun or used as an educational tool to learn more about ALMA by visualising the array of 66 antennas at a touch of your screen. By zooming in on selected antennas you will be able to see details in the three-dimensional model.

Screenshot of the ALMA Augmented Reality App

Screenshot of the ALMA Augmented Reality App

To download the ALMA augmented reality app for free please visit Google Play and the iTunes AppStore. The tracker document is also available in PDF form on the ESO web pages.

ALMA is an array of 66 antennas spread out over up to 16 kilometres on the Chajnantor Plateau at 5000 metres above sea level in northern Chile. It is the most powerful telescope in existence for observing the cool Universe. The ALMA array was inaugurated in March 2013.

Screenshot of the ALMA Augmented Reality App in action

Screenshot of the ALMA Augmented Reality App in action

Bridge is a design and technology research bureau developing augmented reality technology.

More Information

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.

Screenshot of the ALMA Augmented Reality App in action

Screenshot of the ALMA Augmented Reality App in action

 

ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.

PDF tracker for the ALMA Augmented Reality App in action

PDF tracker for the ALMA Augmented Reality App in action

Source: ESO

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